In recent years, the consumer packaged goods community has proved eager to embrace new feedstocks to replace petroleum-based plastics and virgin paper fiber. Sugarcane, corn, mushroom roots, limestone, potato starch, recycled jute sacks, and even sheep’s wool are among some of the materials currently being used in packaging. Now, French champagne producer Veuve Clicquot has added to that list, using an organic byproduct of its own winemaking process: grapes skins.
In September 2015, the firm introduced Naturally Clicquot 3 in a secondary carton made from a combination of water, natural fibers, and grape skins that reduces the use of virgin fiber by 25%. The package is version 3.0 of the company’s Naturally Clicquot packaging evolution. Naturally Clicquot 1 and 2 were designed as isothermal, biodegradable secondary packages made from potato starch and paper.
The material for version 3.0 is produced especially for Veuve Clicquot by Favini, an Italian company experienced in the manufacture of agro-industrial waste-based paper. Favini’s Crush line of eco-friendly papers is made in part from the residue of fruits and nuts such as oranges, kiwis, cherries, almonds, hazelnuts, and coffee.
According to Favini, grape residuals have a high content of cellulose and lignin, which helps in the linking of cellulose fibers in the papermaking process.
The carton, which holds a bottle of Veuve Clicquot’s Brut Yellow Label champagne, is UV-litho printed by DS Smith with solvent-free inks. The trademark Veuve Clicquot yellow label is then applied to the carton with a sugarcane-based adhesive.
Graphics for the carton “uphold the Veuve Clicquot reputation for style,” says the French firm. “With four fresh designs for each of its four sides, the rectangular packages can be lined up to combine their shapes and the grape illustrations, or to display a sketch of the bottle inside. Understated yet revolutionary, the natural-colored package has a sole splash of color with the yellow Veuve Clicquot label.” Reinforcing the eco-friendly message, copy on the carton advises wine drinkers that the package is 100% biodegradable and recyclable.
Naturally Clicquot 3 is currently available in the U.S., Japan, Europe, and Australia.